Long-term parking is available at the University of Maryland during our conference. You receive it on a first-come, first-served basis. There should be plenty.
At UMD, you rent a spot in the garage for hours, a day, or multi-days (at about $20/day). Park in the garage and then pay for the space at the kiosk in the garage (the parking fees are not included in the conference registration). Since transportation is taken care of with your conference fee, you can park your car in the lot and leave it for the entirety of the conference.
The best parking for us is Mowatt Lane Garage (Sector D12, Building #404).
Update: After the ISWNE Winter board meeting, the decision was made to move away from the Metrocards to buses for our two main trips. We will not be issuing the metrocards. However, you may still find a need for one, either getting from the airport or getting around town on Friday evening, a dinner-on-your-own day. The following blog post is still applicable!
Look at the train map here. The train lines are color-coded, but they are directionally all over the place. Lines do not run north-south, east-west or even Virginia to Maryland and Maryland to D.C. The lines are U’s, and lower case r’s and a couple are sort of C-shaped and, generally, lumpy.
They call it the “Hub and Spoke” system meaning that “spokes” zig-zag in from the ‘burbs to the downtown hub; it’s transportation that is meant to get people from the bedroom community to the hotbed of political power. But it can be a mess for first-time users.
Picking the right platform–and therefore taking the train heading in the right direction–can be a bit confusing. A quick four steps will help you:
Look at the Metro map and find your current station.
Look for your destination station.
Follow the map from your current location, through your destination to the endpoint of that trainline.
Look for the sign that is the right color and lists that final station.
eg: The east-bound end of the Orange Line ends in New Carrollton, Md.; therefore, the sign reads Orange Line/New Carrollton (and if you can understand the PA system in the echo-chamber station, the messag will say, “Orange Line train, New Carrollton.”).
Signs on the outside of the trains indicate the “color” of that particular train (since some trains share a track–don’t get on the blue train when you want orange).